Thomas Yeo

Last updated
Thomas Yeo
Born 1935 (age 8283)
Residence Singapore
Alma mater Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Occupation Artist
Family Yeo Cheow Tong (brother)

Thomas Yeo is a Singaporean artist. A 1984 Cultural Medallion recipient, Yeo has been an artist for almost 60 years since his first solo exhibition at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1960. [1]

The Cultural Medallion is a Singapore cultural award conferred to those who have achieved artistic excellence in dance, theatre, literature, music, photography, art and film. It is widely recognized as Singapore's pinnacle arts award.

Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business chamber in Singapore

The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a business chamber in Singapore.


Personal life

Yeo is born to an optician father and housewife mother, and has 12 siblings. One of his brothers is former Cabinet minister Yeo Cheow Tong who served in the Cabinet from 1990 to 2006.

Yeo Cheow Tong is a former politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he served in the Cabinet from 1990 to 2006, and was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1984 to 2011.

Cabinet of Singapore

The Cabinet of Singapore forms the Government of Singapore together with the President of Singapore. It is led by the Prime Minister of Singapore who is the head of government. The Prime Minister is a Member of Parliament (MP) appointed by the President who selects a person that in his or her view is likely to command the confidence of a majority of the Parliament of Singapore. The other members of the Cabinet are Ministers who are Members of Parliament appointed by the President on the Prime Minister's advice. Cabinet members are prohibited from holding any office of profit and from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise.

He is married to Margaret and has no children.


He enrolled in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 1958-1960 and studied under pioneer painters such as Georgette Chen and Cheong Soo Pieng. From 1960 to 1964, he trained at the Chelsea School of Art and the Hammersmith College of Art & Architecture in London where he held his first overseas solo show at the Cathay Gallery in 1963. He returned to Singapore in 1967 hoping to find greater support for his work.

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts art school in Singapore

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA); is a publicly-funded arts institution in Singapore, located beside the Bencoolen MRT Station.

Georgette Chen Singaporean artist

Georgette Chen, born Chang Li Ying was a Singapore painter known for her Post-Impressionistic styled oil paintings at the turn of the 20th-century. She was a pioneer of the visual arts in Singapore, who contributed to the birth of the Nanyang art style in Singapore. Chen also joined the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1954 as a teacher and lecturer until her hospitalisation. She was also the first woman to teach Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), and also the only one schooled in Paris, France.

Cheong Soo Pieng painter from Singapore

Cheong Soo Pieng was a Singaporean artist who was a pioneer of the Nanyang art style, and a driving force to the development of Modernism in visual art in the early 20th-century Singapore. He was also known for his signature depiction of Southeast Asian indigenous tribal people with elongated limbs and torso, almond-shaped faces and eyes in his paintings.

From 1973 to 1977, he held solo exhibitions in Singapore and Australia.

In 1983, he won second prize in the UOB Painting of the Year competition in Singapore which recognises top talent in the region.

In 1984, he received the Cultural Medallion from the National Arts Council, Singapore, an honour recognising individual artistic contributions to the country's arts and cultural landscape.

National Arts Council, Singapore

The National Arts Council of Singapore is a statutory board established in September 1991 to oversee the development of arts in Singapore. It is under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. The NAC provides grants, scholarships, awards and platforms for arts practitioners, as well as arts education and programmes for the general public.

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  1. Nanda, Akshita (1 May 2018). "Thomas Yeo exhibition shows paintings from his 58-year career". The Straits Times . Retrieved 4 May 2018.